Why my miscarriages were more painful than your labor.

Pain of loss

This year has been tough on my husband and I. We have lost two pregnancies. The first loss was at 5 weeks 6 days and the second loss was at 7 weeks 2 days.  We have been planning to have kids for quite a few years now. We both waited for the right time, the right jobs, medical, marriage, etc.  It was the perfect plan to build a family… or so we thought.

My First Pregnancy

The first loss was really hard. I never thought it would happen to me. We went to the emergency room the night before we lost our baby and I was given an ultrasound. The technician played the heartbeat. We had some hope!

Reality, however, soon followed. The on call nurse came in a few minutes after I was done and said that the heartbeat was so low that I would probably miscarry within the next 24 hours. I was devastated but I picked myself up with the support of my amazing husband and our families.  The doctor said it was so common with first pregnancies and I would most likely go on to have a healthy baby in the future. That helped me work through it.

Second Pregnancy

Pregnancy number two came, we were elated. My husband and I did not hesitate to tell the same intimate group of family which we do not regret. We were both so positive that this baby was going to make it. We told our doctor I was pregnant and been having slight pain and bleeding. With my symptoms and the previous miscarriage, she asked me to come in. The first ultrasound detected a bleed and clots outside the gestational sac. The doctor wasn’t worried but I was to come back weekly until they determined that the baby would be ok.

The next ultrasound showed that the baby hadn’t grown and the heartbeat was at the lowest point in the realm of normal. That’s when it set in for me. I told my husband that night I was going to miscarry. I didn’t know when but I was. Call it women’s intuition but I knew. The following Monday while at work the all too familiar pains set in. It was starting. I worked until the pain became too much to bear and I went home to finish my work. That evening I lost our second pregnancy.

I spoke with my doctor and she said that only such a low percentage of women have “recurrent miscarriages”, (2 or more.) If I was to get pregnant again I would be high risk and need constant monitoring.  Fun….

Think Before You Speak

The reason I am writing this blog is not only is it a little therapeutic for me to get all my emotions and feelings out there but even the most loving and nicest people say some of the meanest and stupidest things to you when you’re going through a miscarriage. Please note - these things that were said, happened, or how people acted were only done to me. This is my personal experience on why you should watch what you say to someone going through an emotional time. Be supportive and sensitive to their situation.

Why can’t you keep a baby?
Right cause it’s a choice to have two emotional and painful miscarriages -- eff off. Saying this to someone is basically blaming them for their loss.

What should have been said: Have the doctors found out why you’re going through this?

Your miscarriage pains are nothing compared to labor pains.
The most painful thing you can say to a childless women who has miscarried and hence the title of this article.
I would give my last dollar to go through labor pains and I have tried twice as matter of fact. I get labor pains are actually more painful than a miscarriage but when you’re done with you labor pains you have a baby, joy, happiness. My miscarriage pains literally may have not been more painful but I lost my baby that I have been longing for. Not only did my baby die but my body decided to expel it in a truly painful way. For 4 days I was in a lot of pain both emotionally and physically. The physical pain will eventually go away but the emotional pain never does.

What should have been said? Nothing! Don’t ever bring anything like this up to a woman who’s miscarried.

Just move on and try again.
I didn’t fall off a horse and need to get back on to prove that I can do something.
I understand what was trying to be said here but don’t say that to someone who is going through a painful loss. Couples need to emotionally heal before they can try again. The scariest part of the first miscarriage was the conceiving of the second pregnancy.  The emotions come back from the first loss when you are pregnant again.

Instead let them know that you are here for them now and you will be there no matter what happens in the future.  

Your pregnancy was so new that you can’t be that emotionally attached.
Really? Can I slap you in the face now?

People think that by saying something like this that they are helping you detach from the loss. I get the logic behind it but it’s so mean and hurtful to say. Each loss no matter how early in pregnancy is hard and emotional. Going through these losses there is a mourning period. I like to bury myself in work and other activities so I don’t think about it and then have a glass of wine and have my husband hold me while I cry. My husband is the most amazing and supportive man and has helped me through every moment of both of our losses. Without him by my side I don’t think I could have made it through the way I did.

You don’t need to take any time off work. It’s just a miscarriage. "I was back to work after giving birth after a few days."

First of all I was there when you gave birth and I remember at least 8 weeks of you off work even talking about not going back. Second of all my first miscarriage was on a Saturday and I went to work on Monday and my second miscarriage was on a Monday and not only did I stay at work for a half a day while in pain but I was back at work on Tuesday.

There are people in life who will regardless of what goes on just say the rudest things and they don’t even know what they are doing. All I can say for this is just ignore them. If you are one of those people and are reading this then please watch what you are saying. When this was said to me I just walked away and cried. I was in total confusion on how someone could say this me in a time when I needed support.

Being treated like a fragile egg that could break at any time.
This one is hard because loved ones are so concerned for your health and well-being that every two seconds they ask if you’re ok and if there is anything they can get or do for you.  I loved that everyone was there for me but I was able to get my own water, I could get up on my own, I am not broken nor will I break. What are needed are support and a shoulder to cry on. Family and loved ones are not doing anything wrong but in a situation like this it can make a woman crazy. I will say through it all, having our family there for support for my husband and I really helped both of us.

Unable to hold a baby because it would be too hard.
I have two beautiful and amazing nephews. But apparently I can’t hold either one of them because it would be too hard and emotional for me. Really? First off I love my nephews and I will play with them, hold them, and love them every day and any chance I get to see them regardless of the situation. They didn’t do anything wrong so why when one smiles at me or the other says “aunty” should I ignore them? I will not! Holding and spending time my nephews gives me comfort in a time when it is greatly needed and appreciated. Second of all I thought I was the one who decided how I felt or how emotional I think I may or may not be? Aren’t these my feelings and shouldn’t I be the one to say how I am feeling?

People please don’t assume that someone is going to feel one way. I am not saying you should ask a woman who is going through or just went through a miscarriage to babysit but don’t assume that your baby is going to be the “breaking point” for them. I loved and still do love every moment I get to spend with both of my little nephews no matter what I am going through.

Speak up!

This last one is a little different but I want to put it out there because there will forever be an emotional scar for me from one thing an ultrasound technician did.

Horrible emergency room/ ultrasound technician.
When I miscarried the first time my husband took me to the emergency room in the middle of the night. I was in so much pain and I knew that I was miscarrying but I was scared and needed answers because the situation was all new to me. The hospital called in an outside ultrasound technician and I was given an ultrasound.

During the ultrasound I hear what sounds like a heartbeat. The technician tells me he is listening to the blood flow. I am ok with that and he continues to listen for a minute or so. When an ultrasound is given the screen shows the BPM of the baby. Also, the ultrasound technician knew what the BPM should be for the size of the fetus. I verified this information with the hospital specifically for the technician who gave me the ultrasound that night. It is 3 a.m. and we are listening to the blood flow in the emergency room. The technician then shares ‘Here is your baby’s heartbeat’. Not even thirty second later the ultrasound was complete.

I was in disbelief. I thought our baby wasn’t alive anymore. How could it be? I was in so much pain. My husband told me he didn’t know and held my hand. I asked him if that was a glimmer of hope we should hold on to. He said he hoped so.

A few minutes later the on call nurse came in and said the BPM was 80 and that I would most likely miscarry within 24 hours. This prediction came true.

With all that said I would have rather gone the rest of my life without hearing my baby’s heartbeat. Please know I recognize this is my personal opinion only.

My point -- I caution any woman who becomes pregnant to speak up. Be clear about what you want and don’t want.

I wish I would have told the ultrasound technician that I didn’t want to hear the heartbeat of my baby if it wasn’t good news. Not that he asked but it made me realize that I didn’t know enough about getting pregnant, being pregnant, or the loss of a pregnancy.

Pain of a loss is REAL

All in all -- yes my miscarriages were more painful than your labor. Now for the rest of my life I have to deal with the loss of my first two pregnancies. I get to go through an emotional roller coaster as I learn to deal with these losses. My husband has to hear me cry when it’s been a tough day.  An emotional scar will forever be placed on me. Also, in all my future pregnancies I am going to be scared and worried until I know my baby is safe and healthy. I will never get the joy of becoming pregnant.

My husband and I ask that you be kind to women, couples, and families that are going through an emotional loss. Support them, love them, and most of all watch what you say.

Until I get a chance to be a mother to a beautiful baby I will sit there and envy your adorable baby bump, your amazing kids, and your beautiful family. I know someday my husband and I will have children. I don’t know when or how but we will make an awesome family.